He is often in very high spirits and has become rather waggish. On the occasion of the recent solemn funeral of a palatine cardinal, he tailed the procession in his car with his umbrella open inside the car while wearing no trousers. Fortunately, the crowd, in its deep mourning, was unaware of this. The only embarassing moment came when Serten started to hurl some artichokes, a few dozen of them, in front of the monumental gates of the cemetery of the Beati Rapiti. He remembers perfectly well where he lives, and fully recognizes the members of his family, who are all rather perturbed by his perpetual displays of good humour and have all gradually, one by one, begun to move elsewhere. A brother of his tried to banish him using a salmon full of gunpowder which exploded at lunch. This attempt met with no success, however, because Serten has remained miraculously lucid, he knows how to count to 14, distinguishes the letters S & M and painting a certain sexual organ with Indian ink on a female cousins coat is certainly not enough to justify banishing a healthy, rich young man.
Given the success of the first operation, Serten has got other regions of his brain pricked, dissected and isolated. Several times, in order to reach a particularly intricate part of his cortex, they had to open the top of his skull using the typical horseshoe cut with a hand drill and saw, upsetting the parietal lobe. In this way he has managed to fully eliminate his sense of duty, shame, submission, remorse, fear, modesty, piety, insomnia and other such similar anomalies, all of them as rare as they are undesirable. Soft platinum protruberances stick out from his hair as trophies of a long battle for liberation. Most recently, ultrasonic techniques have opened the door to interesting new operations in the most secluded parts of the brain where the hypothalamus, hypophysis and putamen of the striated muscle is hidden. After the second application of the ultra-wave therapy, Serten has almost entirely lost his sense of direction as well as the few remaining social and sexual inhibitions he still had. Sometimes he finds himself in the fog in some meadow somewhere in the distant suburbs where suddenly he, forgetful and happy, will begin to make love to a sheep or even (it’s all the same to him) a ram, stoic and thoughtful beasts. Finally exhausting himself, ragged, unkempt and dirty he runs into a local policeman on night duty and kissing him passionately on the mouth, or on his stomach, he asks him to take him home or, at least, to call him a taxi.